What's the Best Time to Work Out?
The short answer: whenever you have time to break a sweat.
According to Greatest, “Research suggests the body could adapt to regular gym dates, so if we hit the weight room every day at 4 p.m., eventually we might perform better at that time than at any other time of day. These findings are similar to earlier research, which suggests that sticking to a specific workout time can result in better performance, higher oxygen consumption, and lower perceived exhaustion.”
Unfortunately, our lives and schedules can easily get in the way of a chosen workout time. The good news is, there are perks for working out at different times in the day. We’ve broken them down for you.
According to The Mail, “Researchers at Appalachian State University found that
7 a.m. is the best time to go for a jog if you want to reduce your blood pressure and get a better night’s sleep.”
And Shape Magazine points out; “…while there are certainly benefits to fueling up before a workout—it’ll keep you going harder and longer—a 2013 British Journal of Nutrition study found exercising on an empty stomach can burn as much as 20 percent more fat than when a meal is eaten first.”
Your body temperature is higher in the afternoon, which makes your muscles more flexible and less prone to sprains or injuries. Greatest says, “Muscle strength and endurance may peak in the late afternoon when body temperature is highest. The afternoon is also when reaction time is quickest and heart rate and blood pressure is lowest, all of which combine to improve performance and reduce the overall likelihood of injury.”
Another study from the Appalachian State University, according to Men’s Health, says, “…evening gym time raises body heat like a warm bath and promotes sound slumber.” So the myth that working out later at night, say after 8 p.m., will keep you from falling asleep isn’t exactly rooted in truth.
Our advice: play it by ear on a weekly, or even daily basis, and see what time in the day you can fit exercise into your daily routine. If you’ve managed to get moving and break a sweat at least once a day, we think that’s plenty a reason to feel good about yourself (regardless of the time)!